Cloud-based financial planning software: Your key to support FP&A

Spreadsheets are a useful tool, but they can only take you so far.

Sure, they’re handy resources to store data. But what happens if you accidentally lock yourself out of your spreadsheet or if your team passes around multiple file versions?

These days, FP&A teams are leveraging cloud-based financing solutions to host their data. Planful’s recent findings reveal that 94% of finance executives trust cloud solutions to replace more manual financial operations and reporting tools. CFOs use these systems to store important information and make crucial data-driven decisions for their organisations.

In this article, you’ll learn why cloud-based finance is crucial for today’s financial planning and analysis (FP&A) teams and the top benefits of implementing this software solution. Plus, you’ll see how Ten Lifestyle Group transformed its finance game after investing in Planful.

What is cloud-based financial performance management?

Cloud-based financial performance management is an approach to house, track, monitor, and optimize finance and accounting functions using cloud- based computing.

This method helps all types of organizations save time and effort by analysing data, finding mistakes, and automating labour-intensive, repetitive tasks. This leads to improved access to accurate and relevant data, enabling finance teams to make better-informed decisions for business growth.

Why cloud-based financial performance management is essential for FP&A

Cloud services offer a single source of truth for data consolidation in a secure platform.

Imagine you’re the CFO of a global manufacturing company with offices and production facilities across multiple regions.

You face several challenges when gathering data in one place — especially if that place is a manual spreadsheet. For one, differences in time zones mean one team member is inputting data while another is sleeping.

It’s also a common practice to exchange files and manually enter data in spreadsheets through email. This leads to the creation of multiple versions and tracking issues, which in turn puts data security at risk.

Instead of this old-school and risky way, a cloud-based solution, like Planful, lets your entire team input data into one centralized and secured space.

The benefits of using a cloud finance solution

Simply put, trusting the cloud to manage financial data and reporting is a game-changer for FP&A. For companies that do decide to invest in a cloud- based solution, there are several benefits.

Here are the top reasons we’ve found:

  • Cost savings and predictability. A cloud-based solution means you can say goodbye to the hassle of major hardware installations and external systems. This also makes it easier to handle maintenance and updates in real time. In addition to being cost-efficient, many platforms operate on a subscription model. This means it’s a lot easier to keep tabs on your vendor budget and predict those IT expenses.
  • Scalability. Moving your financial planning process into a cloud- based solution means you can grow your business without purchasing additional IT infrastructure. A cloud-based EPM platform comes with that magic touch of elasticity to grow over time at minimum cost and disruption to your company.
  • Accessibility. A growing number of the global workforce is turning to remote work. By 2025, Forbes estimates that 32.6 million Americans (about 22% of workers) will be remote. When your team spans across time zones or regions, anyone with an internet connection can access a cloud-based solution.
  • Security. As we’ve said before, Excel does not meet today’s level of security protocols to keep your organization’s data safe. A cloud- based platform like Planful ensures that your data is secure.
  • Flexibility and agility. Automating those tedious, manual tasks means your team can focus on what really matters – strategy. Plus, it paves the way for improved financial reporting, shorter planning cycles, and the ability to whip up scenarios at a moment’s notice.
  • Integrations. A cloud system can easily work with other management tools in your tech stack without needing IT assistance. This makes data collection an automated and near-instant process.

How Ten Lifestyle Group merged into the cloud

Ten Lifestyle Group operates a global business that manages over 50 loyalty programs for companies and their employees. Additionally, they provide private services to millions of members.

Ten’s finance and accounting teams had a big responsibility to shoulder, but manual spreadsheets bogged them down.

“We were stuck in Excel city,” says James Muscat, Commercial Finance & FP&A Director at Ten. 

“If you don’t have the right finance technology in place, you end up building spreadsheet models that all link to each other, everything goes wrong, and it gets frustrating.”

The company decided to move to the cloud, investing in Planful to lead the charge. From there, Ten implemented a cloud-based solution to replace its reliance on spreadsheets.

Since switching to Planful’s cloud-based software, Ten has accelerated its month-end process. Plus, with Planful’s user-friendly interface, Ten was able to implement the platform quickly and saw a fast time-to-value. Read more about Ten Lifestyle Group’s adoption of Planful to boost financial performance.

Planful’s cloud-based finance software is changing the game for FP&A

When shopping around for a cloud-based solution, keep in mind that not all platforms are the same.

With a reputation built on trust and reliability, Planful has become the gold standard for how cloud financial management platforms should operate. It’s not just about embracing change; it’s about embracing the future of financial management with a partner you can rely on.

Planful sets the standard for how cloud-based financial management platforms should operate — that’s why over 1,300 companies trust Planful to securely store and process their data and mitigate surprises in their planning processes.

See Planful in action with a live demo to learn more.


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Guest Author

Planful delivers Continuous Planning by accelerating the end-to-end FP&A process and fostering business-wide participation in agile planning and decision-making.

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